Grand Canyon University online/distance learning programs

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by samuelc79, Oct 28, 2015.

  1. samuelc79

    samuelc79 New Member

    Does anyone here have any experience with Grand Canyon University's online/distance learning programs?

    I have been accepted to the Master of Science in Professional Counseling, and I begin online classes tomorrow.

    Can you give me any insight into the usefulness/utility of Grand Canyon University's programs when it comes to finding employment?

    Thank you
  2. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    The first question is "does a GCU MS in Professional Counseling meet the educational requirements for licensure as a professional counselor (or whatever your state calls the profession) in your state?"

    If the answer is "no" or "I dunno" then I suggest you rethink this path. Because if the degree isn't licensure qualifying then I would say your prospects are slim. Please note, weary traveler, that while CACREP is generally a solid indicator not all states just accept an out of state CACREP degree. It was a fairly recent move in NY. In NY the trend is to accept all in-state registered programs and treat everything out of state as second tier.

    That aside, I'm not sure what sort of employment options you'd like to pursue and those options can differ greatly state to state. Here in NYS, my wife (a licensed mental health counselor) eagerly left behind her hospital job figuring she would easily pick up a new hospital gig in upstate NY. That was nearly 8 years ago. She hasn't seen a single job posting for an LMHC in an institutional setting. Plenty of work for clinical social workers up here but being an LMHC basically means you are working in private practice. She also ran into a wall, as I've explained elsewhere, because her degree was earned in a non-CACREP program out of state. So, she had to demonstrate that her program was equivalent to an NYS registered program just to be eligible for licensure (being licensed in another jurisdiction certainly helped). Then, all of those hurdles aside, she found that no one was hiring LMHCs. Many of the practices were either spouse operated or were founded by classmates who decided to split office space. There were very few "jobs." Perhaps this is different downstate, but around here, the only "job" available was to start your own practice. To do that she had to either convince someone to hire her into their practice for a few years or, what she ending up doing, incorporated her own practice then hired a licensed LMHC to serve as a supervising counselor (so, she kind of had to start a business and then hire her own boss). Once she was fully licensed, she stopped that arrangement and was afloat on her own. She has a full time job but it's as an executive director at a non-profit.

    The jobs that I have seen, all out of our area, are also generally low paying (many in the low 30s). And they are somewhat few and far between. Part of that is a symptom of our state. In New York you can be a mental health practitioner as a psychologist, a psychoanalyst, a mental health counselor, a marriage and family therapist or a clinical social worker. And those lines can get awfully blurry in between.

    I say all of this not to scare you but to illustrate how the "can I get a job" question isn't as clear as it is in other professions. And while I applaud your desire to educate yourself and further your career (and, it sounds like, break into a new field, I must say that the best time to do this sort of market research is sometime before the first day of class.
  3. graymatter

    graymatter Member

    As one who teaches for multiple graduate counseling programs, I'd say that GCU is near the top. One of the areas where students had frustration (the practicum/internship process) has been redesigned and will perhaps become a strength.
  4. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    It's good to hear graymatter's review and I have to say that, based on what's been said on this board in the past, if the degree doesn't set you up for licensure then it's a waste of time and money. So I'm agreeing with Neuhaus on this one. Once you have your license it doesn't really matter where you went to school. At least that's the sentiment that I've seen expressed here in the past. Good luck.
  5. samuelc79

    samuelc79 New Member

    Thank you for the detailed reply Neuhas....
  6. samuelc79

    samuelc79 New Member

    graymatter and Kizmet, thank you for your replies as well.

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